Saturday, 4 February 2012

#libday8 - my week

This post is part of the Library Day in the Life Project. My previous Day in the Life posts can be found here.

I kind of failed at posting every day this week, so here's an end-of-the-week summary of what I've been doing with myself!

Monday and Tuesday were UCL days. Although I'm doing the same number of modules this term as I was last term, the timetabling has worked out a lot better and I only need to travel into London two days a week instead of four. This term I am taking modules in Information Sources and Retrieval, Management (both of those are compulsory) and then optional modules in Publishing Today and Cataloguing & Classification II.

Our common room, looking unusually empty on Monday morning.

MA-wise this week I've had a 3 hour lecture for each of these modules, and I've made a start on reading for my first essay this term (on legal issues for libraries). In our Management module we are doing a lot of group work, based around an imaginary library that our group has to come up with staffing structures, strategic plans etc. for. Our group is using a Google Doc to keep all of our notes together, to make it easier to put together our portfolio at the end of term. I blogged in more detail about Monday on the UCL DIS Students blog.

Wednesday and Friday are the days I usually go up to Cambridge to work at Newnham. I am job sharing with Jo, our senior library assistant, but sometimes we ovelap so we are both in on the same day, and this usually happens on Wednesdays. So we had a staff meeting on Wednesday morning, to get everyone up to speed with what's been happening in the last week, and looking forward to the week(s) ahead. After our meeting I got on with going through cataloguing errors thrown up by the bib-check programme. We have been converting a lot of short records for our rare books collection so it was a looong list this week, about 20 pages! Luckily, most of these are not actually mistakes made by the cataloguer but things like "record contains local information but it's post-1900". "Rare" to us includes some post-1900 material so this can just be ignored.

Checking the list too me up until lunch-time, and then for the rest of Wednesday and most of Friday I have been doing a lot of cataloguing, a bit of lyfguarding (covering in protective sticky back plastic), basically just moving things along and getting books ready to going out on the shelf. We do all of our own classification and processing, and download catalogue records or find another Cambridge college in our database (any that begin with A-N) who has a record we can share. The record sharing thing is fairly new and has taken a bit of getting used to, but I think it is working quite well (I say this, having absolutely no knowledge of how things are going on behind the scenes).


Friday was also the deadline for our graduate trainee applications, which I can't believe has come round again already! Didn't Polly just get here? Now it's halfway through the year already...

As the eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed, I have Thursdays "off". I'll usually spend this doing work for my MA, but this week I was in Cambridge again, co-presenting a training session on "Blogging for Absolute Beginners". I think there were fourteen people registered for the session, ranging from graduate trainees to librarians, with five of us there to run the session (Clemens, Margaret, Emma, Charlotte and me) and talk about our own experiences with blogging, and it was quite fun! We talked about which blog platform to choose, dos and don'ts of blogging, and how to fit it into your routine. There was also time for everyone to have a go at publishing their first blog post. This was my first time presenting at a session like this, and while not everything went as smoothly as I'd like (I had a bit of a fail with my slides - I thought I had embedded the fonts but all the text on my second set of slides turned out as squares so I clearly did it wrong...), overall it went very well and we have had some good feedback. In fact, one of the participants has just sent us the link to their new blog, so that's fantastic.

So that's the end of my #libday8 week, now to celebrate National Libraries Day by going to my local branch library and setting up an online account so I can borrow e-books!

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